After 65 years of dedicated work and effort, Eldon George stands in his Museum of fossils and is surrounded by cabinets of curiosity. The walls are covered with photographs, paintings, and models of ancient dinosaurs that roamed this area millions of years ago. The Museum is filled to the brim with thousands of fossil footprints of dinosaurs and ancient amphibians.
Eldon has brought me into the Museum to show me something special. As he begins to look through some boxes under the display cases, I examine some of the footprints he has on display.
Eldon has found many important fossil footprints. His earliest fossil discovery was a footprint of a large Carboniferous amphibian, the short and rounded toes recorded in the rock for 300 million years. At the age of nine, Eldon thought he’d found a dinosaur footprint. He was hooked. Eldon’s passion for geology grew from this early curiosity and inspiration of finding fossils on the shoreline near his home.
He has gained the most attention and public interest for finding “the world’s smallest dinosaur footprints“. Everyone who has visited his Museum has seen this incredible slab of sandstone covered with the small tracks. The most popular souvenir sold in the Rock Shop was the medallion with a single small footprint from this specimen. When Tom Forrestall asked what specimen he wanted to be holding in his portrait, Eldon did not hesitate and said “the smallest footprint”.
In Eldon’s Museum there are cases filled with dinosaur footprints. These are ancient traces of animals that walked along the Parrsboro Shore over 200 million years ago. Dinosaurs were walking across soft sandy mud. With each step the weight of their body pushed the foot into the soft ground. As the foot lifted from the mud it left a perfect trace of the dinosaur’s foot, sometimes recording the fine surface texture of the skin.
Eldon finds what he is looking for and places it on the display case that is filled with dinosaur footprints; a ceramic hand print he made from Bay of Fundy clay.
Seeing his hand print resting on the case of his most significant fossil footprints it is clear Eldon has made a significant contribution. A lifetime of exploring the Parrsboro Shore, Eldon has uncovered many significant fossils. His hand print, pressed into Bay of Fundy clay, is a delicate record of a single life lived in the vastness of geological time, and a powerful statement of his passion and creativity.
Hand prints are some of the first images humans recorded on the paleolithic caves of Europe. These human hand prints reach through time to stand as a record for future generations, we were here. Eldon has created a record of his hand print in clay, placing his own mark to be positioned among the fossil footprints he has has discovered.